WASHINGTON (AP) The Philadelphia 76ers are halfway through a forgettable season. They lost 17 straight to start the season, but had stabilized somewhat of late and entered Monday's game having split their last six games.
After a 111-76 drubbing at the hands of the Washington Wizards, the Sixers were jolted back to reality.
''It was one of those games where you stepped back and thought, `We really have a young team,''' a reeling coach Brett Brown said.
Philadelphia, which has 12 players born in the 1990s, ended the first half with an 8-33 record, and while that's bad, it's not the worst mark in the league. The New York Knicks began the day with just five wins, and the two teams play in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
''I live in probably a naive world,'' Brown said. ''I really think we're going to win and steal wins, every time we play, and the team allows me to think because they have spirited practices, real video sessions, fantastic team meetings. They try to prepare.''
The Wizards ended the game quickly. Washington went on a 20-3 run for a 27-11 lead late in the first quarter and coasted to the win.
After closing the gap to 16 points with three minutes to play in the third quarter, the Sixers allowed the Wizards to score14 straight for an 85-55 lead just before the end of the period.
Washington had seven players in double figures. Marcin Gortat scored 20 and John Wall had 11 points and 10 assists. Kevin Seraphin, who played most of his minutes after the game was decided, had 14.
''Playing a team like that is really dangerous. There is no pressure on them. They play freely. Guys on our team could underestimate them, but we did a great job,'' Gortat said.
''Not being cocky, but they were just smaller guys over there, not really experienced,'' he said.
Philadelphia was led by Henry Sims with 13.
76ers: F Luc Mbah a Monte was a late scratch with a bruised left knee. . G Tony Wroten missed his fourth straight game with what the team has listed as a sprained right knee. Brown said that it might be more than a sprain. ''We do think in 24 hours we'll be able to give way more information than we're able to now,'' Brown said. . Rookie C Joel Embid has yet to play this season due to a right foot injury. Brown says he's making progress. ''He is slowly being allowed to do more.'' Brown says he's not yet running.
Wizards: F Nene made his first 3-pointer of the season. In his 12-year career, he is 3 for 34 from 3-point range. . The 76 points allowed and 35-point margin of victory were season-bests.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?: Philadelphia C Nerlens Noel, in his first NBA season, notices the difference between the two teams. ''They're a team that likes to pass the ball. It's as simple as that. They've got very unselfish players. They're a veteran team. They care about each other more than they do themselves. That's a quality we really need to build on,'' Noel said.
DON'T TAKE THEM LIGHTLY: Wall was relieved that the Wizards kept the pressure on the Sixers. ''Usually we'd get up 15 or 18 points and we'd let a team come right back down,'' Wall said. ''Even though it might seem like it's no fun or excitement, we've got to make it a game that we're trying to get better and look for the future.''
76ers: Host New York on Wednesday
Wizards: Host Oklahoma City on Wednesday